Long overdue

Sir, – A law against conflicts of interest is long overdue, by at least 40 years (“PM withdraws request to change personal investments,” August 28). Had this been on the books we would have had fewer trials and less loss of confidence in Israel’s leaders.

Such a law should be adopted as soon as the Knesset resumes it sittings.

MAX CANDEL
Toronto

Illusions of grandeur

Sir, – According to your reporter, Shimon Peres said that “he could not understand the stupidity of the ongoing rocket campaign and warned that if the people in Gaza will continue in their attempts to destroy Israel, there will be no choice but to retaliate and Israel will destroy them” (“Peres vows strong repercussions if Hamas continues to fire rockets,” August 28).

I cannot understand the stupidity of constantly warning of repercussions when all we do is continue with tit-for-tat rather than being proactive and wiping them out before they can attack us. There is absolutely no incentive for Hamas to stop – just as I can see a time when there will be no incentive for the IDF to put its soldiers’ lives on the line to capture terrorists when at some point they will be released in some ridiculous act of concession (“Peres commutes sentences of 7 prisoners,” News in Brief, August 28).

As he always has been, Peres is a law unto himself and has been allowed to abuse his ceremonial role as president for too long.

One cannot help but feel that his illusions of grandeur lead him to believe that he can behave as though he were at the very least foreign minister, if not prime minister.

EDITH OGNALL
Netanya

Moral failure


Sir – The real question raised by “Rabbi arrested for vandalizing Hadera religious girls school” (August 28) regards the morals that his yeshiva is teaching its students.

Rabbis are supposed to set the moral standards for the community.

This is another case of their failure to do so.

This action must be condemned by the political and religious organizations of the country.

MICHAEL H. DAVIS
Rishon Lezion

Throw the bums out


Sir, – With regard to “Migron residents petition HCJ to delay evacuation” (August 28), the policy of destroying the Jewish presence in Judea, Samaria, the Sinai and Gush Katif is notice to our enemies that we are led by weak-minded and self-destructive incompetents. This is a sign to them that with time we will disappear.

Leaders who advocate this bizarre policy are clearly unfit for leading the Jewish people and the Jewish state. At the next election, which is just around the corner, special effort must be made to eliminate these individuals from Israel’s political scene. They and their political parties must be treated as the serious threats to our future that they are.

In addition, the next Knesset must be relied upon to revamp the process of selecting Israel’s judges, especially those sitting on the Supreme Court. Candidates for the top court must be required to pass a rigorous examination by a special Knesset committee, and legislation should be passed barring the courts from interfering in Israel’s foreign policy.

CHAYIM SEIDEN
Jerusalem

Large errors

Sir, – The caption of “Large-scale mitzva” (August 28), depicting an entrance to the Western Wall plaza and what is called the world’s largest mezuza, seems to have a large number of errors.

The mezuza is said to weigh 40 kg. This must refer to the mezuza holder; the mezuza itself, the invisible essence, must be a scroll of parchment. The mezuza holder is said to be made of bronze, although it is not proper to make one from a metal that might become impure. The holder is seen to be fixed onto a footplate, but according to Jewish law it must be connected directly to a vertical surface.

We are then told that the mezuza should bring us luck and all kinds of fortunes. A mezuza, however, is not a talisman, but rather a Jewish religious command and symbol.

Judaism teaches that goodness comes only from God.

MOSHE-MORDECHAI VAN ZUIDEN
Jerusalem

Words in his mouth

Sir, – Reading Gershon Baskin’s draft letter (“Encountering Peace: What Abbas should say to Israel,” Comment & Features, August 28), one doesn’t know whether to laugh at the ludicrous assertions or cry that someone who claims in-depth knowledge of the dispute would actually propose such a thing as valid.

Baskin, writing as Abbas, begins by referring to “the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people... depriving them of their right to self-determination, following upon UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947).” So it was an injustice inflicted by some unnamed third party that the Palestinians and their Arab brothers rejected the partition plan and sought to destroy Israel. It would be only “just” to return to the resolution that they spurned for over four decades now that Israel is here to stay.

Baskin/Abbas also observes: “In the absence of absolute justice, we decided to adopt the path of relative justice” by agreeing to establish a state on the “Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967.” The clear implication is that absolute justice would be the return of all of Israel to the Palestinians. It is only Palestinian magnanimity that allows Israel to exist – at least for now.

Also according to Baskin/Abbas, the Palestinians “adhere to the renouncement of violence and rejection and condemning of terrorism in all its forms.” Then why does the Palestinian Authority continue to name summer camps, government buildings and town squares after “martyrs” who had the “courage” to murder Israeli children? Baskin/Abbas absurdly concludes: “We go to the UN not to avoid negotiations, but to preserve the possibility of negotiating in the future.” If the Palestinians’ ultimate goal is to obtain their own state, then success at the UN would render any future negotiations irrelevant and unnecessary.

EFRAIM A. COHEN
Zichron Ya’acov

Sir, – Highly competent and renowned spokespeople like Saeb Erekat, Hanan Ashrawi and Sari Nusseibeh must be surprised that Gershon Baskin, a Jewish Israeli, suggests putting Palestinian words into his own voice when they themselves have long been perfectly capable of speaking on their own behalf.

ESTER ZEITLIN
Jerusalem

Path of least hatred

Sir, – Reader Yehuda Gellman (“Mormons and Jews,” Letters, August 28) quotes an anti-Jewish passage from the Mormon bible from which he concludes that US Jews should refrain from voting for Mitt Romney unless he and the Mormon Church repudiate the “anti- Semitic attitude of their holiest book.”

If such a repudiation is demanded from Romney, how much more so should it be demanded from Barack Obama, as well as from the church he attended for many years and the Muslim imams under whom he studied as a youngster.

The truth is that both the Christian and Muslim holy books are far more full of Jewhatred and incitement than the Mormon bible. What’s more, unlike Christians and Muslims, Mormons have never persecuted Jews.

US Jews need not fear that Romney would be hostile toward them because he was born into a Mormon family. The exact opposite is more likely.

TRUDY GEFEN
Kiryat Ono

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger